NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!


Julie Moffet . Clare London . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Friday, September 28, 2012

WHERE DO YOUR IDEAS COME FROM?


How many times have you heard this question? I think every time somebody hears the words "writer" or "author", it seems to be the first question that springs to peoples minds.

Most of us have vivid imaginations. Try thinking back to when you were a chid. As children we made up games to play with our friends. We'd go outside into the yard or onto the front porch and spend countless hours living and playing in our imaginary world. There were no limits and no boundaries to confine us. We sang songs to music only we could hear the words and melody to. We'd dance and twirl with abandon, seeing the movements and hearing the rhythms in our minds and our hearts. We even made up tall tales to tell all our friends about how we spent our summer vacation.

Stepping forward from the imaginings of childhood, our minds still form and shape the images and pictures of everyday life into cohesive (at least we hope) storytelling. We watch, we absorb, and we contemplate. We listen, we sniff, we taste. The people and places around us are an endless source of inspiration.

The lady in line at the grocery store in front of you, a toddler seated in her cart. Her phone rings and even before she answers, her expression fills with so much hope it nearly breaks your heart. Is it her husband or lover on the phone? Is it a call from the doctor's office calling to tell her the biopsy was benign? Maybe it's the employment office telling her she got the job she's been desperately seeking for months. The wheels in your mind can spin the tale in any direction you want, just from watching thirty seconds in the life of a stranger.

Maybe you're in your favorite coffee shop and you see a man and a woman seated across from each other. There are talking softly, the conversation animated with gestures on his part yet the more he talks, the further his companion seems to shrink back into her seat. What's their story?

Maybe you're watching television and the news comes on. There's a story about a major pharmaceutical company's new breakthrough weight loss miracle drug the FDA just approved. As the reporter drones on about all the wonderful attributes of this medication, they show pictures of overweight people. If you're a suspense writer (like me LOL) imagine where this story could go. What if the drug did help people lose weight but a side effect caused homicidal tendencies with people going on killing sprees. Where could this story take you?

Stories and ideas are everywhere around you if you just look for them. Let your inner child come out and play, free your imagination to frolic and dance and sing and you'll see where all my ideas come from.

10 comments:

Liese said...

I think writers are constantly asking "What if...?" Some situation presents itself and your mind immediately goes, "What if ... that person is really an alien? or under FBI protection? or--[fill in the blank.]" My frustration is when I don't have any way to record my "what if...?" I know of writers who always have a pad of paper with them for such emergcncies. These days cell phone notes are helpful.

Kathy Ivan said...

I agree Liese, I love playing that "what if?" game. I'm a constant people watcher, so there are many, many scenarios that run through my mind. Some are fairly normal, but some of them are way out there. LOL I blush just thinking about them.

Thanks for stopping by.

Rita said...

When my children were little we took turns making up stories about what was going on around us. Fun and kept the little beasties occupied.
Just yesterday I was asked where i get my stories and i said form the people living in my head. HA! The woman actually took a step back.

Elise Warner said...

A friend sent me an email today with a cartoon with a caption that read, "We have to get old but we don't have to grow up."

Kathy Ivan said...

Shh, Rita, we don't talk about the people that live in our heads, or the people with the straighjackets might come and take us away! LOL

Though as writers, we always have people inside our heads, talking, demanding we tell their stories, don't we?

Kathy Ivan said...

Elise--That's a perfect sentiment, especially as I'm trying to age "gracefully." In other words, I'm kicking and screaming the whole way. I still feel like a kid inside most of the time.

Thanks for dropping by.

Marcelle Dubé said...

What always catches my attention is the oddness in a situation, the little piece that doesn't fit. That's when my imagination spins off into storytelling mode.

Anne Marie Becker said...

I've had ideas spring from all kinds of places - a documentary, a dream, the psychology classes I took in college. I'm always so grateful my brain runs in those strange directions that yield plots...makes life so much more fun! LOL

Veronica Scott said...

My brain just "goes there" - everything is a potential plot development! Of course that gets a bit anxiety-inducing when I apply it to my own real life LOL and do too much "What if" thinking.

Liz Flaherty said...

I'm like Veronica. My brain just "goes there." Cool post!

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